Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate May 2001

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"The Neighborhood Rival" Mt. Home was an Air Force town, and nobody really moved in, either you were there or you weren't,, it's as simple as that. All the kids on my block had been there since or before I had, so we are all, pretty much family.

One of my best friends was named Shane, and he was the coolest person I had ever met, because he could do anything! He was the best thrower, swimmer, runner, and biker, and he was the toughest kid I had ever met. He was able to swim from one side of the pool to the other in the time I could swim down to the deep end. He could run all the way from his house to my house, about a quarter mile, without stopping. And he could ride his bike up the steepest hill in town.

Then came the new kid.

He was a little runt that was so white that he must have never seen the light of day. His family moved into the house across the road from me and he was always walking around the neighborhood exploring the new world he had just entered. I would always find him in the field behind my house poking around in all the stuff we had back there. Or he would be down by the bridge over the canal playing with all the crayfish we had stashed in a make-shift cage we had.

A boy could not walk around the neighborhood without seeing him a few steps behind him, or ahead of him for that matter. And nobody knew his name "˜til the day he finally talked to us. The first words to come from his mouth were, "How ya'll doin' today. What's yer name, I'm Cody." We were all dazed and confused not one of us knew what to say, so we just ran away. When he was out of sight we made a plan on what we should say to him.

We found him and told him that he was not to address us, and he was not to speak unless spoken to. He was appalled. Never in his life had anyone ever told him what to do, in fact where he came from, Arkansas I think, he was the "Shane" of his group. So he ran like the wind.

We didn't see him for days, so our curiosity got the best of us and we went to find him. And that we did, we had wandered into his yard and found him in his fort in the shrubbery behind his house. We tried to apologize, but it offended him more and more. Then he snapped. He started screaming at the top of his lungs, throwing punches, and kicking at anything that even came close to him.

And then he just stopped. Rolled the sleeves up on his long "cowboy" shirt, then decided that was not enough so he took the long sleeve shirt off and was just in a tank top. He was calling Shane on to a fight.